A day of jockeying the AD9850 DDS oscillator shows an interesting relation between the frequency offset and the oscillator temperature:

Now, as it turns out, the one lonely little dot off the line happened just after I lit the board up after a tweak, so the oscillator temperature hadn’t stabilized. Tossing it out produces a much nicer fit:

Looks like I made it up, doesn’t it?

The first-order coefficient shows the frequency varies by -36 Hz/°C. The actual oscillator frequency *decreases* with increasing temperature, which means the compensating offset must become more negative to make the oscillator frequency variable match reality. In previous iterations, I’ve gotten this wrong.

For example, at 42.5 °C the oscillator runs at:

`125.000000 MHz - 412 Hz = 124.999588 MHz`

Dividing that into 2^{32} = 34.35985169 count/Hz, which is the coefficient converting a desired frequency into the DDS delta phase register value. Then, to get 10.000000 MHz at the DDS output, you multiply:

`10×10`

^{6} × 34.35985169 = 343.598517×10^{6}

Stuff that into the DDS and away it goes.

Warmed half a degree to 43.0 °C, the oscillator runs at:

`125.000000 MHz - 430 Hz = 124.999570 MHz`

That’s 18 Hz lower, so the coefficient becomes 34.35985667, and the corresponding delta phase for a 10 MHz output is 343.598567×10^{6}.

Obviously, you need Pretty Good Precision in your arithmetic to get those answers.

After insulating the DDS module to reduce the effect of passing breezes, I thought the oscillator temperature would track the ambient temperature fairly closely, because of the more-or-less constant power dissipation inside the foam blanket. Which turned out to be the case:

The little dingle-dangle shows startup conditions, where the oscillator warms up at a constant room temperature. The outlier dot sits 0.125 °C to the right of the lowest pair of points, being really conspicuous, which was another hint it didn’t belong with the rest of the contestants.

So, given the ambient temperature, the oscillator temperature will stabilize at 0.97 × ambient + 20.24, which is close enough to a nice, even 20 °C hotter.

The insulation blanket reduces short-term variations due to breezes, which, given the -36 Hz/°C = 0.29 ppm temperature coefficient, makes good sense; you can watch the DDS output frequency blow in the breeze. It does, however, increase the oscillator temperature enough to drop the frequency by 720 Hz, so you probably shouldn’t use the DDS oscillator without compensating for at least its zero-th order offset at whatever temperature you expect.

Of course, that’s over a teeny-tiny temperature range, where nearly anything would be linear.

The original data:

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